Fabian Demicoli

Tractors placed on the market under the flexibility scheme

 Background – Directives setting limits on emissions:

Directive 2000/25/EC sets limits on the emissions of gaseous and particulate pollutants by engines intended to power agricultural and forestry tractors.


Directive 2005/13/EC amends Directive 2000/25/EC and introduces the current applicable stage of emission limits for the majority of diesel engines as Stage III A.  On the 1st January 2011, these limits will be replaced by Stage III B limits.  The latter are more stringent than Stage III A limits. 

Reasons why manufacturers are finding difficulties to comply with Stage III B limits:

To comply with Stage III B limits, current engines need to be substantially modified.

Compliance costs for manufacturers to cope with the new emission limits are significant. These costs include for example research and development costs, equipment redesign costs, after treatment devices costs, documentation and labelling costs, etc.

Flexibility scheme:

Directive 2005/13/EC introduced the flexibility scheme to facilitate the transition between the different emission stages.

The flexibility scheme allows the tractor manufacturer to place on the market either (1) for each engine power category a limited number of tractors not exceeding 20% of the tractors manufacturer's annual sales (calculated as the average sales in the EU of the latest 5 years) or (2) a fixed number of tractors as stipulated in the Directive.  The second option is intended for smaller enterprises which produce lower volumes of engines.

Key Points for revision

COM (2010) 607 proposes to modify the provisions of the flexibility scheme to mitigate the effects from the transition of emission Stages III A to III B by extending its application while maintaining the entry into force of the exhaust emission limit Stage III B to preserve the objective of the Directive to reduce emissions of gaseous and particulate pollutants in the European Union.

Who will be effected?

Type-approval Authorities, manufacturers, authorised representatives, and importers, of tractors.


Feedback by noon of Friday 17th December 2010. On: ;


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